Welcome!

My name is Will Duchon. I live in Stratford, CT.


In 2003 I encountered Mr. Shane Watson, who is currently serving a 25 year to life sentence for second-degree murder. After careful review of the case transcripts, police reports, trial transcripts and other documentation, it became clear that Shane is not guilty of this crime. His case is an example of flawed "eyewitness" testimony, an incredibly flimsy prosecution, and essentially a travesty of justice. Shane is 49 years old, and has been in prison since 1993.



Along with some dedicated friends from Pleasantville Presbyterian Church in Pleasantville, NY, Monroe Congregational Church in Monroe, CT, the fine attorney Robert Boyle of New York City, and our dedicated investigator Doug Walters of Chicago, I am seeking to have Shane's conviction overturned so that ultimately, he will be free to enjoy his life.



This blog is simply a way to share Shane's story as well as new and current information regarding his case. I encourage you to read the posts that describe the details of his case. It is also an opportunity to learn about how flawed the criminal justice system is.

For details of the Shane Watson case, please read the SUMMARY by our investigator, Doug Walters.






Thank you for visiting.

Shane Watson's mailing address:


Mr. Shane Watson

93A9384

Fishkill Correctional Facility

PO Box 1245

Beacon, NY 12508


































































Sunday, March 22, 2015

Grandpa Shane

I received a letter from Shane dated March 18, which included this photo of his six grandchildren (left to right) Ledgen, Shania, Julius, Taylor, Shane and Josiah.

In his letter, Shane wrote "please add (this photo) to the site. As they feel left out I always try to reassure them of my love for them."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Now What?

Since the recent denial of our motion to the Appellate Court, the question has been raised as to what is next for Shane's case.

At this writing, here is what is happening:
  • we are preparing to go to Federal Court to seek a new trial. Also, according to a recent ruling, it may be possible to appeal once again to the State court.
  • we have been in contact with Tanzina Vega, a NY Times reporter who specializes in the Bronx court system. Ms. Vega has spoken with Doug Walters, our investigator.
  • Cameron Fegers, a student at Columbia University in NYC has taken a strong interest in the case. Cameron is organizing a demonstration at Columbia on Shane's behalf.

What Can I Do?
  • contact the journalism department of a college or university to see if students might take interest in reporting on Shane's case: the case represents an individual injustice as well as a systemic injustice.
  • share Shane's story and this blog with friends/colleagues
  • write to Shane:
Mr. Shane Watson
93A9384
Fishkill Correctional Facility
PO Box 1245
Beacon, NY 12508
 
 
Thank you,
Will Duchon


Saturday, February 28, 2015

" ....a small taste of what Job must have felt like."


I have always been deeply impressed by the resilience Shane has been able to summon in the face of setbacks. This was evidenced once more after I read Shane's letter today, which he wrote on February 25. In the wake of his father's death and the denial of our recent motion to he Appellate Court, Shane has once again managed to see this setback as a path to another door opening somewhere. Once more, while I have found myself angry and frustrated at the total lack of logic and common sense these denials represent, Shane has managed to remain hopeful, but not without expressing his own frustration and disappointment. "I just go a small taste of what Job must have felt", writes Shane. He adds that "I know that there is another door by way of "gateway" federal habeas corpus, where the likes of Jabbar Collins, the late Hurricane Carter and also Willie Lopez finally saw justice. Rita Dave (from the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation) can tell you that Lopez's federal judge blasted his wrongful conviction as "rotten from Day One".

"One part of the city (Brooklyn) is standing up and correcting wrongful convictions, while the Bronx is still business as usual, by not wanting a Conviction Review Unit." Shane's observation raises an important point: the Bronx has its share of wrongful convictions on its hands and needs to be examined. At our motion hearings before sleepy Judge Richard Price in 2013, the inept and fumbling testimony of Detective Sevile Jones, the lead investigator on Shane's case, was frightening if one considers just how many OTHER individuals likely have been sent to prison based on malfeasance and a non-investigation on this detective's part.

In his letter Shane asks "How can this type of injustice take place in this great country? My father had a military (funeral) ceremony for his service to his country. Then his son is being done so wrong."

A reporter from the NY Times has taken some interest in Shane's case. A Columbia University student, Cameron Fegers, has also taken strong interest in the case and is planning a demonstration at Columbia to draw attention to Shane's case and its implications regarding the Bronx. This is encouraging, and may lead to "another door".



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Congressman Jose E. Serrano

Just had a phone conversation with Doug Walters who told me that I mistakenly posted Jose M. Serrano as a person to contact in order to assist Shane's case.


The CORRECT person is Congressman Jose E. Serrano, who represents the 15th district of NY.


Please write or call Congressman Serrano:
Telephone: 718-620-0084







Friday, February 20, 2015

What Can I Do Now?

Last week we received word that the Appellate Court denied our motion to overturn Judge Price's decision. Essentially this latest setback bars Shane's case from being heard by NY State's highest court, the NY State Court of Appeals.

According to our attorney Robert Boyle, the only legal option left to Shane is to file a writ of habeas corpus through the Federal Court. However, Mr. Boyle explained to me that "the chances of this working are very slim."

At this point I feel that our best course of action is to generate awareness of Shane's case particularly in the realm of media and political figures. Hopefully this could create enough pressure to afford Shane another opportunity to appeal to the NY State Court of Appeals.

Last week I had a conversation with Stephen Saloom, from The National Association for Public Defense. Stephen spent the past decade creating and directing the Innocence Project’s Policy Department. While there, he developed a partnership on state and federal advocacy efforts between the Innocence Project and national Innocence Network called the Innocence Policy Network. By communicating with government officials, partnering with stakeholders, advocating in legislatures, advancing litigation strategies, and educating the media and the public about needed reforms, the Innocence Project and Innocence Network member organizations enacted over 100 reforms in states across the nation, as well as federal reforms and program funding. Mr. Saloom made the following suggestions about Shane's case:

 Read Jim Dwyer of the NY Time's past columns on many, many wrongful conviction cases.   Shane's sounds like the kind of story that'd interest him, and it might be the Bronx is a new angle on the phenomenon recently related (almost exclusively) to Brooklyn.  I'd think making the right approach to him is key, so think that through if you're considering it at all.

Lonnie Soury is a professional publicist who takes on WC cases as an interest of his.  He worked on Marty Tankleff's case, and has worked on others as well.  But he does still try to make a living through his work (as we all try to!), so you should assume there'd be fees involved with it.

The "Bronx angle" Mr. Saloom mentions is a "hook" which might appeal to journalists. Our investigator Doug Walters expresses it perfectly:

 This is not a case of a witness misleading the authorities, but of the authorities willing suborning a witness. The actions, and inaction of the NYPD and the Bronx District Attorney in this case go far beyond negligence, and constitute actual malfeasance. The NYPD and Bronx District Attorney showed an obvious contempt for Shane Watson and his family by fabricating a case against him in order to lock him up for life.

In recent months, Brooklyn has been the focus of a scourge of wrongful convictions, many resulting from the atrocities committed by former NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella. In Shane's case, we have our own Scarcella-type in retired Detective Sevile Jones, whose incompetence and dishonesty was clearly demonstrated while he testified at Shane's motion hearings before a sleepy Judge Richard Price.

TAKE ACTION: Here are some specific contacts that YOU can email/call and ask that attention be given to Shane Watson's case:
 

 New York State Senator Jose M. Serrano
http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/jose-m-serrano/contact

Investigative Reporters and Editors:
http://www.ire.org/about/contact-us/

Governor Andrew Cuomo:
http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact

Phil Reisman, Reporter for The Journal News:
preisman@lohud.com

Berthold Reimers, General Manager, WBAI Free Speech Radio, NYC:
347-274-8144

You may have ideas/contacts of you own. If so, please share this information with us.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

APPELLATE COURT DENIES MOTION

Today I received word from our attorney Robert Boyle that the Appellate Court denied our motion, filed last August. The motion filed by Mr. Boyle petitioned the appellate court to grant Shane the opportunity to appeal our case to New York's highest court, the NY State Court of Appeals. This is a devastating blow.


WHAT NOW? In my conversation with Mr. Boyle, I asked what recourse, if any, remains to us. Mr.Boyle said that Shane could appeal to the Federal Court in a writ of habeas corpus: Habeas corpus is a writ that is used to bring a party who has been criminally convicted in state court into federal court. Usually, writs of habeas corpus are used to review the legality of the party's arrest, imprisonment, or detention. According to Mr. Boyle, the chances of this being successful are "very slim".

After speaking with our investigator Doug Walters, we both decided that despite this setback we have an obligation to continue fighting for Shane. How? Reaching out to public figures such as Sen. Jose Serrano (D, NY State Senate) who is an advocate for individuals in Shane's position. The news is still fresh and at this writing I am still absorbing the impact of the absurdity and atrocity that this decision represents.

Mr. Edward Watson: This will be a difficult week for Shane, and his family. On Tuesday, February 10, Shane's father Edward Watson died at the age of 84. Mr. Watson had been undergoing liver dialysis for a long time and suffered a fatal heart attack. A memorial service will be held at Mount Zion Baptist Church in  Fredericksburg, VA on Wednesday, February 18. 


Mrs. Joan Watson and Mr. Edward ("Hogan") Watson.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

What's Happening With Shane's Case?

I received an email this morning from our friend Doris Kersten in Pleasantville, NY, wondering what is going on with Shane's case right now. This prompted me to write this update.

We are now awaiting a decision from the NY State Appellate Court. Our attorney, Robert Boyle, filed a motion on August 21, 2014 to the appellate court, asking that Judge Richard Price's denial of our previous motion be overturned. Essentially, this means that Mr. Boyle officially requested that Shane's conviction be vacated, or that Shane at least be given a new trial, based on our new evidence and the overwhelming evidence already in place which supports Shane's innocence.

Now all we can do is wait for the appellate court to render a decision. Typically, these decisions are delivered within six months of the petition, so presumably we should be hearing something by mid-February.

In the meantime, please feel free to write to Shane and show your support:

Mr. Shane Watson
DIN 93A9384
c/o Fishkill Correctional Facility
PO Box 1245
Beacon, NY 12508
 
Thank you,
Will Duchon